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Last Updated on October 28, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 300

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There are four major characters in the play: Calisto, Sempronio, Melibea, and Celestina. Calisto is a young man of twenty-three. He has fallen in love with a young woman named Melibea, who is, evidently, quite beautiful. He is very romantic but also quite melodramatic in his descriptions of her beauty and the misery he feels at her refusal. He tells Sempronio, his servant,

My will is not obedient to reason and I harbor in my breast peace and war, love and hate, injuries and suspicions. And all of these from one and the same cause.

It even seems as though his unrequited feelings will make him physically ill. Melibea seems to think that Calisto’s feelings for her are "illicit" ones—in other words, that he only likes her for her beauty and wants to sleep with her. Calisto trusts Sempronio completely, so when Sempronio offers to enlist the aid of Celestina, an old brothel owner (and well-known woman of disrepute), to help get Melibea to fall in love with Calisto, Calisto immediately accepts his idea. However, when Sempronio goes to meet with Celestina, it becomes clear that the servant and Celestina know each other quite well. They agree to work together to try to get as much money as they can from Calisto, which they will split between them.

Celestina successfully manipulates Melibea into falling in love with Calisto, but when she makes excuses to avoid sharing her payment with Sempronio and Parmeno (another servant of Calisto’s whom Celestina and Sempronio have persuaded to help them), they kill her. Minor characters include Sosia, another of Calisto’s servants; Elicia and Areusa, both prostitutes who work for Celestina and plot against Calisto and Melibea after the deaths of Celestina, Sempronio, and Parmeno; as well as Pleberio, Melibea’s father.

Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 206


Calisto (kah-LEES-toh), a nobleman who sees and falls in love with Melibea. He hires Celestina to arrange a meeting. He is killed by falling from a ladder while leaving Melibea’s garden.


Melibea (may-lee-BAY-ah), a beautiful girl who lets herself be talked into a rendezvous with Calisto and who commits suicide after his death by leaping from her roof.


Celestina (thay-lehs-TEE-nah), an elderly go-between and seller of love charms whose greediness brings about her death.


Lucrecia (lew-KRAY-thyah), Melibea’s maid. She warns Melibea’s mother against the evil Celestina, but to no avail.


Pármeno (PAHR-may-noh) and


Sempronio (saym-PROH-nyoh), servants of Calisto who promote Celestina’s arrangement with their master and murder her when she refuses them a reward. Apprehended by the police, they are beheaded on the spot for their crime.


Sosia (SOH-syah), another servant of Calisto who helps to plot his master’s death.


Areusa (ah-RAY-ew-sah) and


Elicia (ay-LEE-thyah), prostitutes in Celestina’s house. Areusa loves Pármeno; Elicia loves Sempronio. The girls hire Centurio to avenge the servants’ deaths.


Pleberio (play-BAY-ryoh), the father of Melibea.


Alisa (ah-LEE-sah), the mother of Melibea.


Centurio (thayn-TEW-ryoh), a scoundrel soldier hired to kill Calisto.